September 8, 2006, Newsletter Issue #32: Messy Summer Art Toy

Tip of the Week

When the weather warms up and the outside is more available for playtime, let your baby get a little messy. Often as parents we avoid messy art projects for fear of the clean up fiasco. Research has shown that creativity is enhanced through the complete uninhibited artist experience; so let your baby explore the world of art outside. Clean up is easy with a hose, sponge and towel, as you will want to use washable non-toxic materials for a young baby anyway.

Many types and brands of washable non-toxic paints exist and can be bought almost anywhere that sells toys, even the supermarket. Don't simply limit yourself to store bought paint, create your own edible paints with Jell-O or pudding and food colors. While it may not be a masterpiece to save, a young baby looks at food as a potential toy; so let them express this through art.

Use large pieces of paper or even rolls of butcher paper as a place to paint or draw. Also, let them explore the outside world as an art medium. Take a nature walk and make a collage of the items you find with paper and white glue. Permit an older baby to paint with water and a little soap. They can paint almost anything with this mixture and enjoy the sensation of the brush along with the temporary change the water creates on almost any surface. Sidewalk chalk is also an inexpensive toy of art expression for all ages.

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